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All Issues > Volume 13, Issue 2


<< Tuesday, March 4, 1997 >> St. Casimir
 
Daniel 3:25, 34-43
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Psalm 25 Matthew 18:21-35
Similar Reflections
 

FASTING + FORGIVENESS = ?

 
"My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Matthew 18:35
 

After Jesus fasted forty days, He came out of the desert in the power of the Spirit (Lk 4:14). After our Lenten fast, we too are to be moving in the power of the Spirit, in a new Pentecost.

However, the flesh (our fallen nature with its selfish desires) will oppose the Spirit (Gal 5:17). Unforgiveness is the cause of many works of the flesh, such as "hostilities, bickering, jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy" (Gal 5:20-21). Therefore, unforgiveness is one of the main ways we stifle (see 1 Thes 5:19) and grieve (Eph 4:30) the Spirit. Consequently, if Lent is going to lead to Pentecost, we must accept God's grace to forgive 70 x 7 times (Mt 18:22). We must forgive from our hearts; otherwise, our Lenten fast will not result in freedom (see Is 58:6) but in torture (Mt 18:34). Fasting without forgiveness is not crucifying the flesh (see Gal 5:24) but merely indulging the flesh in a more subtle way.

When you fast, forgive. When you forgive, pray for the Spirit. You will receive a new Pentecost.

 
Prayer: Father, by Your grace I decide to forgive everyone for everything. Thank You for the miracle of forgiveness.
Promise: "Let our sacrifice be in Your presence today as we follow You unreservedly; for those who trust in You cannot be put to shame. And now we follow You with our whole heart, we fear You and we pray to You." —Dn 3:40-41
Praise: Out of love and solidarity for the poor, Casimir lived a simple life-style, very rare for a prince.
 
(For more teaching on this subject, order our pamphlets, Unforgiveness is the Cause, Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, and Forgiveness and Evangelization.)
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 13, Issue 2
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